Biking in Charlotte, NC
Only 8 miles to sanctuary.
This is where the volunteers gather on the weekends to build and maintain the Virginia Key North Point Trails, a maze of easy to difficult trails that will take me some time to familiarize myself with.
In order to ride the trails I would need to lighten my load, since I ride with a bag on my rear rack. The bag contains all the stuff I would need to spend some time out riding, food primarily, a Bluetooth speaker, my phone, etc.
Need to find somewhere to lock up my stuff, not from people, but from those sneaky raccoons that can open any lid that’s not locked down.
distance 15.91 miles
Several containers are used to store equipment, one has a mural.
It’s 8 miles to the Virginia Key Bicycle Club from where I’m staying. Round trip miles is the same mileage I would ride in the McAlpine back in Charlotte.
On a mountain bike, riding 3 miles in city traffic to get to Key Biscayne, is a workout. Once you’re on the key, you have to get over the William Powell Bridge, no easy task navigating pedestrians. I could take the bike path on the road, but I’m yet to be able to ride up on the way in, my legs are not warm enough. On the way back out, I can ride all the way up, but I still prefer the pedestrian path to the open road.
It isn’t the cars I fear, it’s the crazy bikers who fail to say “On your Left” when passing you going full bore down. The bike path is about six to eight feet wide and if I’m taking it easy going up or down, these dickheads just love to pass you to prove their manhood or something.
distance 16.91 miles
Finally made it to the lighthouse at Bill Baggs State Park.
Sunset glowing behind the lighthouse.
Made it back to the beach to catch the sunset sky.
distance 32.29 miles
Rode into Key Biscayne on my usual ride, but something made me take a left at Virginia Key, I am so glad I did.
The Virginia Key Bicycle Club was holding events and maintaining trails.
Little kids were riding the beginner trails in a one lap race, replete with numbered bicycles, so official. While I’m watching the kids enter the trail, I start talking to volunteers guarding the entrance. Michelle says I need a helmet and finds out I’m a mountain biker from NC with plenty of free time.
One thing leads to another and I’m introducing myself to Frenchy, President of the Virginia Key Bicycle Club. All I say to him is that I want to volunteer and that was it, I spent the day as a VIP.
Frenchy driving me around in his Polaris, showing me the 8 miles of trails he has been in charge of creating and maintaining for the past decade, and introducing the new “Bert” volunteer to his current crew.
The American flag marks the spot of base camp, the VKBC is responsible for 50 acres of city land. Stewards to a choice piece of property, and my new home, I plan on being here as often as possible.
After a long day, I came upon a private beach as I wondered around the trails. This private beach is just across the way from the priciest real estate in South Florida, Fisher Island. I may not have a fancy yacht, but I got me a Fuel 70, and it has taken me to some choice spots this weekend.
distance 25.41 miles
10 minutes from my place in Little Havana is Key Biscayne, my sanctuary.
At the end of the key is Bill Baggs Cape Coral State Park.
Saturday is weekend warrior day and they were out in full force and with the latest equipment. Biking, running, walking, activities galore along the key.
There is money in this town and it shows in the bicycles they ride, thousands of dollars of equipment under most riders. Never seen this kind of inventory with my own eyes, other than when I salivate to new equipment online.
This is where I end my ride on Key Biscayne, at Felipe’s Tree.
distance 23.37 miles